One of the subjects I hated in school was history, however, now that we are reading great living books, history has now become my favorite subject and one of my kids’ favorites as well. Our history is of England this year so what a great surprise when I was given the chance to use and review the Audio Theater CD of Heirloom Audio Productions – The Dragon and The Raven which fit perfectly with our King Alfred studies this month.
While I love reading aloud, sometimes, I think the kids get tired of hearing me read them books. It’s always nice to put an audio book or story into the mix.
The Dragon and The Raven was a hit from the first track. I put the first cd on in the car so the kids could listen on the 30 minute drive to my parents house. The kids were entranced as they listened, you could tell they were visualizing the story in their heads (something I love about books). When we arrived, they did not want to turn it off and were anxious to listen on the way home, as well as basically anytime we are in the car.
The audio drama is adapted by the book The Dragon And The Raven, by G.A. Henty. A book we will read later in our studies as well. The Dragon and The Raven audio drama is a great way to familiarize the kids with the story so that they are not intimidated by the book later.
Even I have enjoyed listening to the audio book. The audio and music/sound effects are mixed very well. The characters voices are compelling and the story is riveting. The hero aspect is driven from a biblical perspective rather than just success which is refreshing. As well as the underlying display of virtues, especially those of courage and faith.
With the premium audio adventure you also receive a downloadable study guide, e-book, mp3 copies, posters, behind the scene footage and more!
We loved the extras, especially the behind-the-scenes-footage. The kids enjoyed seeing how the audio was created and this led to some great discussions on film and audio making. It was great to see the audio come alive with the footage and to hear the interviews as well. Just a little something extra for the listener to enjoy!
In addition to the behind-the-scenes-footage, the study guide provided a great way for me to make sure they were grasping the content. The questions for discussion kept them on track and thinking about the story and it let me know it was sticking without having to think of comprehension questions on my own. The questions for “Good Listening” were perfect as a recap of what we had heard. And the additional “Thinking Further” questions let us dig a little deeper into our listening. Although a few of the “Thinking Further” questions were a bit hard for my kiddos, we adapted and worked together to find/talk through the answers. I think they enjoyed the questions and digging deeper almost as much as the listening.
The Dragon and The Raven was a great addition to our King Alfred studies and something I believe the kids will listen to many times more. I am also looking into the other audio adventures Heirloom offers. I would love to incorporate more of their audios into our history studies.